Kidnapped Mexico footballer Pulido freed


(BBC) International football player Alan Pulido is “safe and sound” after police rescued him from kidnappers who seized him in north-eastern Mexico.

Pulido, 25, was abducted at gunpoint on Saturday night in his home town of Ciudad Victoria in Tamaulipas state.

The striker, who plays for Greek team Olympiakos, phoned police while his captors were distracted, officials say.

A 38-year-old man has been arrested. Officials say he confessed to belonging to a local criminal gang.

Pulido was part of the Mexican team at the 2014 World Cup (AFP photo)
Pulido was part of the Mexican team at the 2014 World Cup (AFP photo)

Police are searching for another three men believed to have been involved in the kidnapping.

Pulido’s car was surrounded by several vehicles as he was leaving a party with his girlfriend on Saturday night.

Masked men took him away, leaving his girlfriend unharmed in the car park where the incident took place.

Pulido’s family received a phone call on Sunday demanding a ransom payment, state prosecutor Ismael Quintanilla told journalists.

It is not clear whether the family were planning to meet the kidnappers’ demands or how big the ransom demand was.

Mr Quintanilla said that the security forces were able to locate Pulido thanks to the phone call he managed to make to police.

He said no shots had been fired and Pulido only sustained a minor injury.

One of his hands bandaged, Pulido told reporters early hours on Monday: “[I am] very well, thank God.’

Tamaulipas is one of Mexico’s most violent states, and Mexico recently deployed more security forces to tackle cartels operating in the area.

The country has one of the world’s highest kidnapping rates, with government figures saying some 1,000 people are abducted every year.

Others argue that the true figure could be almost 10 times as high.

Pulido joined Olympiakos last July and finished the season with six goals in 15 games.

He was part of Mexico’s squad at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but was not called up for the upcoming Copa America tournament.



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